LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS 

 
  • A micro learning environment refers to a physically contained space, such as a classroom or a school, which for the most part can be controlled by the internal forces of the educational establishment.

  •  A macro learning environment refers to context of influences that come from other learning environments or outside factors. Some of the learning environments will overlap the environment of the classroom ( such as an online learning environment facilitated by the use of technology) and some will come in close contact with it.
A micro learning environment can only be truly powerful  when it becomes part of a bigger environmental canvas at a macro level - when it constantly interacts with other environments that affect learning, by influencing them and evolving with them.
 
 ~Arina Bokas     
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A CULTURE OF PARTNERSHIPS
 
It is important to consider the elements of a culture of partnerships as a clear and shared framework which takes into consideration the multiple contexts in which children learn, from birth through adulthood. A culture of partnerships is based on  three core principles: 

 
  • It is aimed at promoting children’s learning anywhere, any time. 

  • Education of children is seen as a shared responsibility: schools, other community agencies and organizations and families are committed to collaborating in meaningful ways to provide  a coherent, powerful  learning  environment for children.

  • Collaboration entails steadfast commitment  to children and their learning above stakeholders’ roles or personal/organizational interests.
“A Culture of Partnerships” is a mindset within educational establishments and communities which results in attitudes, values, goals, and practices directed to building a powerful macro learning environment, wherein families, other community and educational agencies and organizations are committed to sharing responsibility for children’s learning.  

~Arina Bokas
      
A CULTURE OF PARTNERSHIPS -Stages of Formation
Creating Awareness, the first stage in formation of a culture of partnerships within a school or a district, to some degree, could be regarded as a preparatory stage. Its main goal is to create awareness through providing information and idea sharing. 
 
Seeking Engagement, or an "experiencing" stage, often implies an activity. It is important to note that the term “engagement” in this instance refers to a wide scope of activities conducted at school, home, and community - anything that contributes to  improving student learning through influencing micro learning environments to support that learning.
 
Supporting Collaboration  is the partnership stage. When  families, community organizations and agencies, and other stakeholders are aware of what takes place in schools with respect to learning and understand what schools’ needs might be to successfully continue in this direction. Schools have a capacity to include these stakeholders into governance.
There are three factors that drive families and local community towards education-centered partnerships:
  • Efficacy -knowledge and confidence to contribute
  • Opportunities - openings to apply knowledge or skills
  • Influence - making a difference by affecting decision making in a particular classroom, school, or district.
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A powerful learning environment  is built by all stakeholders - educators, students, parents, coaches, leaders of various units and organizations - an entire community. To accomplish this, educational systems are called to nurture a very distinct culture  - a culture of partnerships.

~Arina Bokas
WHAT TO CONSIDER
.A new set of questions is necessary for this conversation: 
  • What factors influence learning?
  • What are the levels of a learning environment? 
  • How do multiple micro learning environments connect into a macro learning environment?
  • How do roles and responsibilities of an educator, learner,  parent, local and distant communities’ members evolve  as we move towards macro learning environments? 
  • What culture within educational systems promote nurturing productive macro learning environments?
  • How do we build such culture?